Sunday, October 14, 2007

i think i love my iPhone

Ok.. so it's a sexy, aesthetically pleasing device with a well designed user interface and slick interaction design... (although there are a few glitches)

Not being a showy type person, I must admit I felt a bit of a poser when I first started using my iPhone in public - mainly to check my email to see where I was supposed to be when. How great it would be if there were some auto sync feature between calendars and mail. The calendar app. would 'know' when a person was supposed to be when without having to laboriously add all of one's appointments. similarly when things you find on the web or other media can automatically be added to one's scheduler/calendar. Such a solution might be an example of the semantic web - a concept i am still trying to get my head around and what the true 'real-world' implications of this might be.

Anyway back to the iPhone - I have had to reboot it a couple of times within the first few days. (Note there is no force quit to my knowledge - but instead you must use brute force by holding down the 'power off button - top right of the device' and the 'home button' - bottom center together for a few seconds). The main malfunction I have had is when trying to place calls and keys 'stick' or do not respond to touch. I've also this same issue with the unlock feature.

I read a review recently from someone who's iPhone went south and she complained of it getting extremely hot when she was charging it whilst making a call. I have noticed this device sometimes runs hot too especially when on a call for an extended period of time... leading to a slight burning sensation in the ear.

The UI - on the whole is very intuitive. Note there are no real instructions/help guidance on how to use it. For me it has been a process of trial and error as I've tried to navigate my around it's many features and often subtle interactions. One of the interactions I expect to be able to do is when inside an address bar - is to run my finger quickly to the right of screen and wipe the address field.. instead I have to hit the 'x' key which for some reason seems easy to miss.
It's interesting when I started to get into the touch screen interface for performing every interaction I then tried to touch my iPod (5th generation) screen by habit expecting something to happen before reluctantly going back to the click wheel as my input device. Yes, I know there's iTouch but I'm not going to get yet another portable apple device.

At the moment I'm trying to wipe my calendar of all events and I'm having to manually delete each item which requires a total of 4 taps.

Using the safari over wifi is great but trying to surf the net over edge network is like using a 14K modem.

The propritaryness and control* over the device by Apple is something I had anticipated but not down to which ringtone I could have on it. I miss my Slayer - Rain In Blood ringtone on my crappy Sanyo Katana phone - but at least I could have my own ringtone. I tried to use the tone creation application embedded inside itunes - the problem is though you still don't get to choose which tunes you can create tones from. A word of advice - make sure you perform an advanced search in the itunes store and filter only by songs that you can convert to ringtones. Otherwise as I discovered much to my chagrin, the songs I downloaded (and paid for) could not be converted into tones. Crackers posted workarounds to this problem but Apple quickly countered this with patches. My iPhone is running firmware 1.1.1 which at the time of purchase was uncrackable - but things change but to be honest I've sort of grown used to the default 'robot' ringtone I've opted for.

In short, do I regret buying an iPhone - no, definitely not. Is there room for improvement - yes!

*At the time of writing this there was no way for developers to write 3rd party native applications for it.. Steve Jobs has since seen the light and announced that apple will be releasing an SDK. Exciting news but it probably won't do anything to address the standards problems and interoperability across mobile phone apps.

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